Health Tips Blog
President Trump and the Deadly Myth of "Nonclinical" Heart Disease
By: California Center of Longevity & Functional Medicine on January 25, 2018, 6:49 pm
Test results from President Trump's annual physical reveal he has atherosclerosis, a common type of heart disease. Heart disease is the leading killer of Americans, often from heart attacks or strokes.
At a recent White House briefing, Ronny Jackson, MD, the president's doctor, initially denied that Trump has heart disease. Instead he called President Trump's atherosclerosis "nonclinical." In other words, the president is symptom-free. Trump's "good genes" were credited for the President's "excellent" health.
All the same, the president's diagnosis does raise concern, says Dr. Allan Kurtz, founder of the Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Center of Southern California in Woodland Hills, California. "If cardiovascular disease goes undetected or isn't properly treated, a heart attack, stroke or death, can unfortunately be the first symptom."
Former President Bill Clinton is a prime example, adds Dr. Kurtz. "President Clinton had had similar risks: high cholesterol, being overweight, not getting enough exercise, and indulging in a high-fat diet. He was also said to be in good health based on a 2001 physical and he reported feeling fine. By the time symptoms arose — including chest pain and shortness of breath — his arteries were so blocked that he required emergency quadruple bypass surgery in order to prevent a severe heart attack."
Could President Trump be headed for a heart attack or stroke? It is certainly possible, says Dr. Kurtz. "The test that illuminated the president's atherosclerosis — coronary artery calcium score— only measured calcified plaque. It doesn't check for soft, plaque, which can be the dangerous kind, leading to heart attacks and strokes if inflammation develops."
"Approximately half of Americans carry genes that raise their risk for heart attack and stroke. Analyzing each person's unique genetic makeup guides the best, personalized treatments to prevent heart attacks and strokes." Dr. Kurtz uses leading-edge testing to check for inflammation, and genetic risks.
Trump's diagnosis is a teachable moment, according to Dr. Kurtz. "It sends a dangerous message to say that atherosclerosis isn't a problem until symptoms strike. If your car's "check engine" light went on, waiting until the engine blows up before repairing it, is a risky and dangerous plan. Atherosclerosis is a body's "check engine light."
Fortunately, "This is a great opportunity for the president and his doctors to raise awareness of a disease that kills thousands of Americans every day. We can share the good news, that with advanced screenings, top-notch medical care, and sensible lifestyle changes, heart attacks and strokes may be preventable."
For a comprehensive, integrative approach to health, wellness, and longevity, the Center for Longevity & Functional Wellness in Southern California can be reached by calling 818.346.1440